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SJFS 2016 Night 1 recap May 4, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel.
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Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 Night 1, 2013 Night 2, 2014 Night 1, 2014 Night 2, 2015 Night 1, 2016 Night 2, 2017 Night 1, 2017 Night 2

Ten years ago tomorrow, May 5, I met keyboardist Jay Rowe following a Special EFX concert at the since-defunct IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington. A friendship was born. (We posed for a picture that can be seen here.) About seven months later, he invited me to his annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert the following April in his hometown of Milford, Connecticut. I agreed to go. Last Friday, I made my tenth annual pilgrimage to Milford for the 14th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars. This was the fourth year with two shows, and the third in which I went to both shows.

The journey began Friday morning in a cold wind on the platform at the Wantagh LIRR station. I took a westbound train to Penn Station. My next stop was Penn’s Amtrak terminal. I waited an hour, which included a quick nosh at Tim Horton’s, then boarded the Vermonter on track 8E. I was in coach, which resembled the commuter trains I’m used to riding. About 70 minutes later, I exited the train at Bridgeport. My girlfriend was waiting for me.

I met her on Facebook six years ago. She first discovered me four years before that through this website because of an interview I did with Brian Simpson at WCWP. (You can find that interview here.) She noticed me in the audience at the 2009 SJFS, but didn’t approach me. When we connected on Facebook, I assumed she was a fan of my stint as host of Evening Jazz, a WCWP format at the time. We shared a love of music, both for listening and playing. I’m a piano man, she was a sax woman.

We checked in at Hampton Inn in Milford around 2PM. After a few hours of settling in, we went out to dinner and dessert at Friendly’s. From there, we drove to the site of Smooth Jazz for Scholars: the Parsons Complex Veterans Memorial Auditorium. We were early, so we waited in the parking lot for a half hour.

While we waited, my girlfriend improvised on her alto saxophone to backing tracks on her MP3 player.

Shortly after 8:00, show #1 began with an introduction by Kevin McCabe:
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Next to speak was John Patterson, president and CEO of the Monroe County (Michigan) Convention and Tourism Bureau:
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John was promoting another annual jazz event: the River Raisin Jazz Festival.

Then, it was time to showcase Milford music students. First to perform were students from West Shore Middle School, who sang “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley…:
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…and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran:
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From there, it was on to the Foran High School Jazz Ensemble, who performed Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon”:
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The students then gave way to Jay Rowe and his band.

Jay was on keyboards:
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Steve Scales played percussion:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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…and Dave Anderson on bass:
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The stars of night 1 were Matt Marshak on electric guitar:
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The aforementioned Brian Simpson, who was briefly on keyboard…:
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…but mostly on keytar:
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Peter White on acoustic guitar:
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Marion Meadows on soprano saxophone:
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…and with Jay’s band on seven songs, including the finale, Rohn (“Ron”) Lawrence on electric guitar:
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SET LIST
1. Red Hot and Smooth (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Red Hot and Smooth (2006)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

2. Cadillac Kid (Matt Marshak)
Originally heard on: Colors of Me (2012)
Featured musician: Matt Marshak (electric guitar)

3. Teddy P (Matt Marshak)
Originally heard on: Urban Folktales (2011)
Featured musician: Matt Marshak (electric guitar)

4. Just What You Need (Brian Simpson)*
Originally heard on: Just What You Need (2013)
Featured musicians: Brian Simpson (keyboard, keytar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

5. Saturday Cool (Brian Simpson)*
Originally heard on: It’s All Good (2005)
Featured musicians: Brian Simpson (keytar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

6. Promenade/Could It Be I’m Falling in Love (The Spinners cover) (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Promenade (1993), Reflections (1994)
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Marion Meadows (soprano sax)

7. In Rainbows (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Smile (2014)
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Marion Meadows (soprano sax)

8. What Cha Gonna Do? (Brian Simpson)*
Originally heard on: Above the Clouds (2007)
Featured musicians: Brian Simpson (keyboard, keytar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

9. Lifestyle (Matt Marshak)
Originally heard on: Lifestyle (2014)
Featured musician: Matt Marshak (electric guitar)

10. Bueno Funk (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Glow (2001)
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Marion Meadows (soprano sax)

11. Treasures (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: In Deep (2002)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

12. Humanity (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Soul Traveler (2015)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

13 (Finale). Kiss (Prince cover)
Featured musicians: Everyone

*-Jay was not on stage during this song.

Now for various shots of each musician, starting with Jay Rowe:
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Matt Marshak:
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Brian Simpson:
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Peter White:
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Leading the audience on “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love”:
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The audience followed:
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Marion Meadows:
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Rohn Lawrence:
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Steve Scales:
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Trever Somerville:
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Dave Anderson:
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Next, two shots, starting with Rohn and Brian:
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Rohn and Marion:
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Peter and Marion:
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The finale: “Kiss”:
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The last note:
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Night 1 was complete:
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Before heading back to the hotel, my girlfriend and I caught up with Brian Simpson and I spoke with Peter White.

Click here to see how the second night went.

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Comments»

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